Draw My Life: How Weed Affected Me
We worked with some guys to make a film about bettering yourself and maybe smoking less weed. Hal reports on the project and the amazing animated film we ended up with.
Bristol is overflowing with creative talent…
Bristol is overflowing with creative talent, but this potential is not always supported or encouraged. In 2012 a project called Working It Out was set up to help young people take the next positive step in their lives; two months ago we began a collaboration with their Taskforce 10. Our goal over the course of the project was to teach some practical and creative skills and to create a piece of online content we could all be proud of. This film is the culmination of our time together.
…to create a piece of online content we could all be proud of…
Over the weeks things progressed from group discussions to practical workshops, to live animation, to character development, and eventually to planning and filming our finished film. Looking back now it’s amazing how far we’ve come, and I think the film reflects the values we held as crucial to the success of the project from the very beginning: to make something that felt like a true reflection of the lives of young people in Bristol today, led by the group and centered on the topics that are important to them — a real collaboration.
Most of the group felt that smoking weed was often a symptom, not a cause of disengagement…
Early on in the project we struck on some common ground, a subject that a lot of the group wanted to talk about: cannabis use and how it affects peoples lives. Most of the group felt that smoking weed was often a symptom, not a cause of disengagement—being in an environment that offers no support or meaningful opportunities.
After talking this through we decided to make our film about bettering ourselves, moving the subject of drug use to the background of a wider story. We created a character, Gary, to represent these ideas, and his story is an account of the steps he took towards living a more positive life. We worked with award-winning graphic novelist Joff Winterhart to create a Draw My Life about Gary, and show how he chose to better himself.
It’s finally ready to be shared with the world. We hope you like it world. The Rife team would like to say a big thank you to everyone who helped us along the way, and we’d like to wish the whole group from Working It Out the best in whatever the future may bring.
What do you think of the film? What about Gary? Does he make the right choice? Do you agree or disagree that smoking grade can sometimes lead to serious stuff? Any favourite Draw My Life videos? Let us know: @rifemag
‘How Can Laughing Be Bad For You?’ by Adibah Iqbal
We made this with: Working It Out’s Taskforce 10. The script was by Hal Morrell-Samuel. The artwork was drawn by Joff Winterhart. The project facilitator was Sarah Bentley. The music was made by Alex Preddy.
Support more young people to have their voices heard
Rife is Watershed‘s online magazine created for young people, by young people.
We offer paid internships and publish work by young writers, photographers, illustrators, and filmmakers from all sorts of backgrounds, helping them get into creative careers. Rife has reached over 8,000 young people through our workshops, over 220 young people have made stuff for Rife on topics ranging from mental health to identity to baked beans, and last year, over 200,000 people visited our website.
In these complex and uncertain times hearing from and supporting young people who are advocating for social change and contributing fresh perspectives has never been so important.
Through supporting Rife you can ensure that this important work continues and that more young people have their voices heard.